For the best luxury steam train journey in South Africa then look no further than the luxury Rovos Rail train. With Design Holidays offering you the best Rovos Rail rates there is no excuse not to give yourself the best luxury steam train journey in South Africa!
Design Holidays are proud to recommend our clients to travel on one of South Africa’s best luxury trains. The Rovos Rail train has earned an international reputation for its truly world class travel experience. Step aboard the fabulous Rovos train’s wooden panelled coaches, refurbished to pristine condition and enjoy fine cuisine in 5 star luxury as some of the most varied scenery imaginable in South Africa.
What’s Included on the Rovos Rail Train
3 superb meals daily, all alcoholic and other beverages, sightseeing excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide, entrance to places of interest, 24hr full room service and bar facilities, all taxes, limited laundry service.
Rovos Rail Train Suites
The rebuilt Rovos Train sleeper coaches contain the most spacious train suites in the world, offering every modern convenience and comfort. The epitome of luxury, with handsome wood panelling and period Edwardian features, the air-conditioned suites accommodate two people offering the option of twin or spacious double beds. All are equipped with a writing surface and, for valuables, a personal safe. There is also a mini bar filled with beverages of the passengers’ choice and room service is available 24 hours a day. In the en suite bathrooms original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs.
The Royal Suites, each of which take up half a carriage, are spacious and elegant, measuring 16 sq metres in size (172 sq ft). Each has its own private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower. The Deluxe suites (11 sq metres/118 sq feet) also accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower.
A third level of accommodation – the Pullman suite is 7 square metres (76 sq ft) in size and while it includes the identical bathroom to that of the deluxe suites, the bedroom is smaller with a one up one down bunk for twin requirements or a double bed for couples. During the day this can be converted into a comfortable couch.
Rovos Rail Coaches
Rovos Rail operates two classic 20 coach, 72 berth trains as well as a third 13 coach, 42 berth Edwardian train which is available year round for charter. Each one of these carriages, from kitchen cars to sleeper coaches and guards vans, has its own story. A few dating back to 1911 were constructed in Europe and shipped to South Africa in the first half of the last century. Some carriages have carried royalty, while others have ended up serving as restaurants or lying derelict and forgotten on sidings for decades.
These coaches have been collected from the far corners of the country and are now cherished members of the Rovos fleet of 75 carriages. The coaches have been painstakingly rebuilt and the use fine wood panelling, traditional furnishings and period décor has ensured an atmosphere of elegance and grandeur. Exquisite pillared dining cars are a signature of the Rovos Rail trains. Each one has a proud history and has been meticulously restored from a derelict state. For example Dining Car No 195 ‘Shangani’, which was built in 1924, was found parked in a siding in Alberton near Johannesburg before its acquisition by Rohan Vos in 1986.
Three of the magnificent teak pillars had been removed and these were faithfully crafted, restoring the Victorian atmosphere. Each of the trains has two 42-seater dining cars to accommodate the maximum complement of 72 passengers in total comfort at one sitting. Each train has a non-smoking Observation Car at the rear of the train, while the coach next to it contains a small smoking lounge. A unique feature of the Observation Cars is the enlarged windows and open-air balconies. At the centre of the train we have, when numbers dictate, a non-smoking Lounge Car, which houses the Gift Shop.
Rovos Rail Fine Cuisine & Service
An enthusiastic team of chefs is responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring every Rovos Rail guest’s every need is catered for, while considerable thought and meticulous planning goes into the planning of menus. Unlike many of the great trains of the world, travellers are on board the trains for several days at a time, requiring a much wider selection of meals.
There’s an accent on fresh local ingredients, and traditional dishes such as game are a specialty. Every morning there’s a full breakfast with dishes cooked to order. A selection of cold meats, croissants, pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurts, cereals and preserves make up a tempting breakfast buffet. For lunch and dinner there is a starter and a choice of fish, meat or vegetarian dishes, followed by a tempting dessert and are complemented by a selection of excellent South African wines.
All meals aboard the Rovos Trains are served in one sitting only in the charming Victorian atmosphere of the Dining Cars. Many of the passengers aboard the Pride of Africa enjoy the formality of fine china, crisp linen and silver, and dress accordingly. During the day dress is more casual, with cool, comfortable clothes and hats recommended for the excursions, especially in the game reserves where it can be very hot. The Observation Car seats 32 passengers and is positioned at the rear of the train. At the centre of the train we have, when numbers dictate, a non-smoking Lounge Car, which seats 26 passengers in comfort. In maintaining the spirit of travel of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets onboard.